Ones to Watch: Marisa Sanvito
Name: Marisa Sanvito
Occupation: Textile Designer
Marisa’s interior pieces are all about buying less and spending wisely. By creating unique, hand-crafted textiles, she aims to instil a sense of individuality in a world now obsessed with commercialism and mainstream culture. Talking about her work, Marisa revealed ‘ [it] is a self-directed project for my 3rd year at University. The brief I set for myself reads: "Based on images of the beautiful (and peaceful to experience) deep sea world as a tribute to the coral reefs tainted by Gulf of Mexico’s oil spill in April 2010, the aim of this project is to gain a better understanding of the challenges of sustainability within the textile industry”. The main task of this project is to create a series of crafted textile products for the less conventional interior/soft furnishing market, which meets some of the ethical and emotional needs that enrich our understanding and experience of the world, keeping in mind the impact these products will have on the planet and their lifecycle’.
Marisa describes her style as ‘Three-dimensional, organic, sustainable’, three things which are easily found in the images above. Although the colours may not scream nature or organic, the materials, patterns and details Marisa has created on the pillow, chair back, boxes and vases are indicative of Mother Nature’s sustainability. It is apparent that Marisa’s appreciation of recycling over buying new started young: ‘Since my grandmother thought me how to knit at the age of 8, I have grown to appreciate and value yarns, fabrics and colours, and their application to our daily lives. Growing up in Milan, Paris and London has driven my fascination of textiles and enhanced my awareness of design. I spent my twenties working in finance though...can you believe it? I remember being happy with the cheque I was receiving at the end of the month, but the corporate world was not for me. My real passion has always been knitting, and when I turned 30 I decided to start my professional life all over again by starting a BA in Textile Design’.
When it comes to creating her works of art, Marisa implements a structured process: ‘Once I have chosen my concept I collect inspiring images, I take photographs and collect relevant bits and pieces...I then pin them on boards and start putting ideas together. This way it’s easy to see what visually works and what doesn’t. I then prepare a moodboard which contains the shapes and colour I would like to work with. I absolutely love colour, and I generally try out lots of different combinations before coming to a final decision…Once I do I order the yarn, and when it arrives the fun on the knitting machine begins! I do a lot of sampling, I manipulate all stitches by hand which means it is absolutely vital to keep a technical logbook on how I do things. This is a very important stage of the work because I can anticipate problem/issues before making the actual product…and finally comes the stage to knitting the actual design piece!’
One thing I find particularly interesting in Marisa’s work is her preference for interiors over fashion or various other textile formats that are perhaps more traditionally associated with knitting. ‘I feel there are loads of talented designers populating the fashion world already, and that I could not bring anything new to that world. I am more comfortable in trying to push the boundaries and apply knitting within the interior market, and the beautiful thing is that there are so many exciting options for me to explore and see how far I can go with it!’ From what she has produced so far, I predict Marisa to go a long, long way, turning the textile industry into her own knitted haven.
Asked what she would like to have achieved in ten years time, Marisa responded ‘By 2022 I hope to have knitted my own house! Just joking...I hope to enjoy a career as designer/maker and being involved in exciting projects!’